Federal Mediation Director Visits IAM Mechanics Training Center


From left: Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) Director of Field Programs and Innovation Javier Ramirez, FMCS Chicago Regional Director David Born, FMCS Director and former IAM General Counsel Allison Beck, IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Philip J. Gruber, IAM Mechanics’ Local 701 Technician Training Center Director Lou Longhi, IAM Midwest Territory Chief of Staff Rod Hoffman, IAM Safety and Health Director Jim Reid, and Local 701 Directing Business Representative Sam Cicinelli.

The Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) and former IAM General Counsel Allison Beck visited the IAM Mechanics’ Local 701 Technician Training Center in Carol Stream, IL.

Beck was joined by FMCS Chicago Regional Director David Born and Director of Field Programs and Innovation Javier Ramirez.

The visit, which took place just days before the nation’s first ever National Apprenticeship Week, was an opportunity for the agency to tour the IAM’s premier program for training the next generation of automotive workers. The IAM Mechanics’ Local 701 Technician Training Center was the recipient of a FMCS Labor-Management Grant. The FMCS helps mediate disputes between unions and companies.

The training center, which is attached to IAM Local 701’s union hall, provides an apprenticeship program for high school graduates, GED certificate holders, current technicians, veterans and others seeking a career in the automotive industry. Students receive classroom instruction and mentoring, all while receiving on-the-job training and earning a paycheck with a local employer – at a fraction of the cost.

The total cost to the apprentice for the program is around $1,400. A comparable program at a vocational center could cost as much as $20,000, and would not include on-the-job experience.

Courses include automotive fundamentals, electrical and electronics systems, brakes, power steering, power train and hybrid vehicles.

“The IAM Mechanic’s Local 701 Technician Training Center has proven to be a leader in developing and refining the skills needed for a successful career in today’s automotive industry,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Philip J. Gruber. “Congratulations to Local 701 Directing Business Representative Sam Cicinelli and Training Director Lou Longhi for all the hard work they’ve put into creating the center and providing more working families a pathway into the middle class and future union membership.”

“Touring the automotive apprentice training facility gave us a great understanding of the value of the FMCS Labor-Management Grants program,” said Beck. “The facility is truly impressive and a great example of what just a small grant can accomplish.

“Training the next generation of highly-skilled automotive technicians is a ‘win-win’ for labor and management – and is exactly the kind of creative, problem-solving project that FMCS grants are designed to support. Congratulations to the great representatives and staff of Local 701 for making this dream become a reality!”

For more on the IAM Mechanic’s Local 701 Technician Training Center, click here.